The Bare Necessities of Spring Gardening

Ok, way too much time is going by in between blog posts– and I apologize for that. There is so much going on in life these days that I squeeze in a post as soon as I get some time. I have also been changing up my blog posts lately just to see what you, the reader, likes best.

Life has been happening, and weekends have been full. We are trying to get big house projects out of the way now so we don’t have to do them during the dog days of summer. I have a special project coming up that I am really excited about, and I can’t wait to give you details within the next few months!

For the past couple of weekends, I have been out in the yard preparing my flower beds for the upcoming growing season. It’s so nice to see so many of my spring flowers on their way. The daffodils are up, my hyacinths smell and look wonderful, and my alliums are on their way.

I was trying to weed around all this great, new growth, and I needed a few tools to help me get my garden in tip-top shape!

I like to write my posts to be as simple and direct as possible, but I also like to take the time to explain certain aspects of gardening as well. One thing in particular I like to make clear to every gardener, from novice to master, is that you do not need to have a lot of fancy tools to garden. 

Here are the bare necessities of gardening, plain and simple. In one of my first blog posts, I explained a few garden tools and how they work. 

Here are a few things that will help you through spring garden preparation:

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  1. Shovel— The shovel is one of the most versatile tools in the garden. Even if you don’t have anything else, or can’t afford to buy too many tools, the shovel could be your one and only and that would be ok. It is your trowel, edger, transplanter, and everything else in between. This will do the job regardless of anything else.
  2. Straight edge rake— This rake helps you even out mulch, turf builder, rocks, etc. on any surface you are working with. Trying to even out the holes or dips in your yard with topsoil? Make sure to use the straight edge rake to keeps things smooth.
  3. Wide Brimmed Hat — This is the barest necessity of all! Spring sunshine is the best sun shine, but it can burn you, too! (My forehead is a great example). Wear your hat while you dig in to yard work!
  4. Trowels — Need I say more? I had to include the trowels in this one. Planting seeds? Or other plants? The trowel is a hand tool that becomes your best friend!
  5. Gloves — I have mentioned many times before that I used to scoff at people who wore garden gloves — boy, was I WRONG. I love wearing them– it’s much easier to pull weeds with gloves than without! It just protects your hands in general should you come across something not so desirable in the dirt.
  6. Rake–This is your regular joe schmo rake. Whether you are raking up debris and other yard rubbish that accumulates from the winter, or raking the thick piles of grass from the first lawn cutting of the season, you won’t be sorry to have one of these!
  7. Garden stool— this handy little stool saves your back, knees, and also has several compartments that allow you to carry all of your hand tools and a knee pad. This will be your savior after hours of garden work.

Here is the list of Spring’s bare necessities for the garden. It doesn’t take much — you don’t even have to have all of these– just a couple will do. It all depends on what you like to use the best and what works with your gardening style.So, here’s to sunshine weekends and happy gardening!

 

 

Fall Preparation Part 2 – I’ve Got You Covered.

As the weather turns even more unfavorable as the weeks progress, I am reminded I still have stuff that needs to be done in the yard before the ground freezes and the snow starts sticking to the ground. It’s really hard to do so when it starts getting dark at 5:00 at night. I used to be able to get quite a few things accomplished after work, but it just doesn’t happen anymore! I did, however, manage to help some of my plants take cover yesterday, and also started cutting some of my hostas down.

  • One thing I have not done yet is rake the yard. I have A LOT of trees in my neighborhood, and I would like to wait another week before I get the leaf blower out. The trees still have a lot of leaves on them, and I don’t want to have to keep going out and raking when I could just wait when most of the leaves are off the trees instead of another futile attempt. Haha!

Well, this is finally the second phase of my Fall preparation in the garden. It took a little longer to do it than I would have liked, but I finally got it done. Covering and cutting– it’s that simple. And I used only a couple of things:

For this garden session, I used some burlap and large garden shears.

For this garden session, I used some burlap and large garden shears.

Burlap is a nice, heavy-duty covering for any shrubs, trees or plants that you would like to protect from the weather or animals. It’s fairly inexpensive, and you can get it at hardware and home improvement stores. You can also purchase covers that go right over shrubs and trees to make things easier. I just happen to have burlap leftover and figure I will use this up before I buy anything more.

Large gardening shears or clippers, happened to be my favorite gardening tool. They are so versatile, and can be used for most of your landscaping needs. They pulled double duty for me when it came to cutting my burlap and cutting down my plants.

I have a couple of small emerald-green arborvitae out in front of my house. I started wrapping them first with burlap.

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I wrapped the burlap around the arborvitae until it was completely covered. You can use anything to tie or clip the burlap on. There are ties that you can use, and I have known people to staple it and I myself have used metal ornament hooks to keep the burlap closed!

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The next item on my “To-do” list for cleaning up was cutting down my hostas. I cut the old stuff down so the new can grow up next season.

For anyone who doesn’t know, hostas are a gardener’s dream plant. They are a hardy, shade loving perennial that will pretty much grow anywhere you put them. So, if you have a spot in your yard that you can’t seem to grow anything, chances are a hosta will do the job for you! And because they are so prolific and they grow so big, they can be separated, and people will give them to you just because they have so many.

There are several types of hostas, and I have quite a few. They grow HUGE and can be separated.

There are several types of hostas, and I have quite a few. They grow HUGE and can be separated.

Now my hostas have turned a beautiful yellow, and I need to shear them.

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I really want to thank the Deer, for they have helped me out tremendously with my fall cleanup. (Future post will be coming!)

Deer LOVE hostas.

Deer LOVE hostas.

I just cut them as close to the ground as possible.

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Voila! All done.

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And I take the “garden rubbish” and dispose of it properly.

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There you have it! Fall cleanup is a cinch! Lots of work no doubt, but very important if you want to start your next growing season out the right way!